16th-Ranked Wildcats Down EKU, 7-0
April 19, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Led by a terrific pitching performance from freshman Lauren Cumbess the No. 16 Kentucky softball team earned a 7-0 triumph over instate foe Eastern Kentucky, Tuesday at the UK Softball Complex. Sophomore Alice O'Brien and junior Brittany Cervantes contributed home runs on the offensive side to fulfill the balanced effort.
With the win the Blue and White matches its win total from a season ago with a 32-10 mark. EKU drops to 21-22 on the season. Cumbess improves to 6-1 on the year, with three of those victories coming in the shutout form.
Kentucky returns to action Wednesday, April 20 with a date with instate rival Louisville. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET.
UK's freshman right-hander was nearly perfect on the day yielding just two hits. She worked all seven innings of action with seven strikeouts and no walks.
"Lauren Cumbess did an amazing job in the circle for us today," UK coach Rachel Lawson said. "She did a really good job of keeping her command in check and keeping EKU off balance in the batter's box. I was really pleased with her performance, and I am looking forward to tomorrow night's game (vs. Louisville)."
Kentucky received outstanding offensive games from a number of players. O'Brien connected with a three-run bomb in the bottom of the sixth for her third round tripper of the season. Cervantes drilled her team-leading 14th long ball on the year. Sophomore Kara Dill was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI. Senior Megan Yocke posted a triple and scored the game's first run, while junior Rachel Riley contributed a 2-for-3 outing as UK racked up 11 hits on the afternoon.
UK opened the scoring in the bottom of the first to grab a lead that would never be threatened. Yocke tripled off the left-center fence and a wild pitch brought her home to plate the winning score.
The Blue and White charted a pair of tallies in the bottom of the third to stretch the lead to 3-0. Dill doubled off the left field wall to place a runner in scoring position. She would round home easily thanks to a Cervantes' homer to left field. Cervantes has now pushed her career home run total to 34 and is one shy of tying the career record at UK.
O'Brien's three-run shot to right-center led a four-run sixth inning charge to make the final 7-0 margin.
Senior Meagan Aull singled into right and promptly stole second. Following a pop-up to second, Dill's single up the middle brought in Aull for the frame's first strike. Aull quickly swiped second to shift into scoring position, and Cervantes drew a walk. O'Brien then drilled her third long ball of the season to complete the scoring for the Blue and White.
The Wildcats resume non-conference action and will complete the annual home-and-home series with the Cardinals Wednesday.
Louisville comes to Lexington with an impressive 32-13 overall record and a 10-4 mark in Big East action. The Cardinals are receiving votes in the most recent NFCA and USA Softball Polls.
Following a win over Kentucky in late March, the Cardinals have captured wins in 13 of their last 17 games.
Louisville is paced at the plate by Hannah Kiyohara who is using a .387 average to lead the team. Chelsea Bemis is batting with a .368 clip and leads the team with eight home runs and 35 RBI. As a unit, Louisville bats with a .323 average and have scored 249 runs on the year.
In the circle, Caralisa Connell leads the three-pitcher rotation with a 2.38 ERA and an 18-6 overall record. She has also tossed a team-best 131 strikeouts on the season. Tori Collins owns a 2.43 ERA and a 12-6 record with 121 Ks.
The squads met in Louisville in late March for the first of the annual home-and-home series. Louisville captured a 6-0 win over the Blue and White and improved its overall record over the Cats to a 14-12 mark. The Cardinals have captured the last eight matchups in the series.
Complete coverage of the UK softball team can be found at UKathletics.com all season long.